There are numerous federal, state, and private agencies that provide education grants to aspiring individuals. Education grants and scholarship programs are offered to students who meet specific academic standards and are from a low-income group. People who cannot afford the high cost of education benefit from such grants, improving their existing skill levels and furthering their career goals with higher education. Some grants are offered for specific education programs in research or technology and are mostly given out by big corporate houses or political organizations. A few organizations offer gender specific education grants for women from low-income homes.
Pell Grants are one of the most sought after education grants offered by the Federal government. Aspiring students need to fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so that the government can evaluate whether the concerned student is eligible for the grant. Pell grants are usually awarded to students who are yet to complete their bachelor's degree. The student needs to be an American citizen or an eligible non-citizen. The assistance that a student gets depends upon a host of factors which include the financial need of the student, whether the student is going to join a part-time or a full-time course.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Students who have received Pell grants but still find themselves in financial difficulty to commence their education can rely on FSEOG. These grants are provided to the student by the school in concern. The schools receive a stipulated funding from the U.S. Department of Education and allot these funds to students on a first come, first serve basis. Students should be aware about the deadline for filling FAFSA, so that they don't miss out on FSEOG. Also, not every school aligns itself with the FSEOG program, so students need to check all the information.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
The TEACH grant is aimed at assisting students who are facing financial difficulty in completing their teaching courses. The maximum amount that is provided under the TEACH grant is $4000. This grant differs from other educational grants in the respect that a student needs to complete a course to become eligible, and needs to work as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school for four years as specified by the authorities. In case the student fails to meet this obligation, the grant is converted into a direct unsubsidized loan.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
This educational program is designed for those students whose parent/guardian has died while serving the U.S. Army in Iraq or Afghanistan (post 9/11 only). However, in case the student was not enrolled in any program -part-time/full-time - at the time of his guardian's death, he may not be eligible for this grant.
These were some established educational grants. Besides these grants, there are a number of other grants which are sponsored by the state government or by corporate houses as per Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Nonprofit organizations also help aspiring and needy students to realize their dreams by helping them with scholarships. Religious communities hand out financial aid to help minority and ethnic students. Single moms, who usually need a boost to their career so that they can be financially stable are also covered by numerous agencies such as American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Education grants have changed the lives of many and still continue to do so, and all you need to do is apply for them. People get discouraged by the turnaround time on the grant applications and the paperwork, but these obstacles are part and parcel of the whole process.